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Martine and Brian

Martine Verweij
Brian Tear


Total raised so far£0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00


Raised offline: £0.00

Team story

[p][b]Tour Divide Finishers! - Read Brian's personal account of their challenge[/b][/p][p]Well, it certainly was an exploit![/p][p]2,725 miles over 25 days. 60,000 metres (200,000) feet of ascent. It is known as the world’s hardest mountain bike race and we can say now that it probably is![/p][p]We had a huge number of highs and lows over the days. The extremes of weather and the long days doing nothing but turning over the pedals were tough at times. There was no downtime or chance to read a book. The phrase ‘eat, sleep and ride’ was 100% true and was probably the worst aspect. The first 8 hours of each day passed in a split second; only then did you start to think about how much longer you had to ride that day. Most days were about 15 hours long and we had a couple of 1/2 days at 8 hours to get some issues sorted. We had a 17 hour day, a 19 hour day and a 23 hour day. The weather was cold, wet and snowy in the North and we had desert heat in the South. We went from having frozen water bottles and gear cables to having to ride at night to avoid dehydration - but we got through it![/p][p]The highs were amazing; ever changing scenery and amazing wildlife. Grizzly bear encounters (they are big, and they move real fast), tarantulas (they are big, and move slow), rattle snakes, roadrunners, elk, deer and wild horses. We met fantastic people who displayed amazing acts of kindness including a farmer taking us late at night back to a bike shop and getting the owner out to fix a problem. Food and water was left by the roadside with a note saying ‘Tour Riders’ and people popped out of nowhere after not seeing a soul for 15 hours and had a chat, saying “yes, I know, I did this race in 2011”.[/p][p]We missed the family greatly and Martine couldn’t speak to them without crying; I couldn’t speak to them at all. We just had to get the job done and get back. Physically we were fine but I had a knee problem brought on by muscle cramps which had me in tears for a while. Other than that it was just dealing with saddle sores and pressure points. After the race we both still have some nerve issues; Martine is struggling with feeling in her hands and I still can’t feel my two big toes (this is from the cold in Canada). But it is not major stuff and will get better. The biggest problem is mental - it took a week to start sleeping properly again and we both woke up a lot with nightmares about getting on the bike again. All OK now though![/p][p]Would I do it again? Martine would, I wouldn’t - once is enough.[/p][p]Finally, a massive thanks once again to everybody who followed us, sent messages, sent pictures, sent wishes, burned candles for us. You would not believe how much your thoughts, wishes and comments meant to us. They certainly kept us going during the hard times (which was most of it). To those who donated to Kids Run Free on the back of two people doing something stupid - thank you very much. You will be helping thousands of kids to get fit and stay fit. [/p][p]Thank you, from a man who is incredibly happy to only have to ride 2 hours per day now.[/p][p]Many Thanks,[/p][p]From Martine & Brian[/p][p][br][/p][p][b]Let's rewind to the beginning and find out a little more about who Martine and Brian are and why?[/b][/p][p]We are married with 2 young children and live in Alcester in Warwickshire. [/p][p]Brian is a Director at Raceways CIC, sister company to Kids Run Free. Martine, is the co-founder and CEO of Kids Run Free, both wanted to fundraise for the charity with a once in a life-time extreme challenge to raise £10,000. [/p][p]We are both passionate about sport, especially endurance sport. We have both competed in athletics, triathlon and cycling races around the world. Over the past couple of years, our racing has taken a back seat, as our children began to race, and we became the taxi drivers and ‘pit crew’ for them.[/p][p][b]Why and what is the Tour Divide?[/b][/p][p]Eighteen months ago, we decided we needed to do something for ourselves again, a new challenge, something BIG. We had done plenty of racing, and wanted something competitive, but in a different way. The idea of doing the Tour Divide (TD) was born. The TD is an ‘underground event’ - not officially promoted, no finish line banner. The 100 – 200 zealous riders descend on the start line in Banff, Canada on Friday 8th June, and set off together on a massive challenge. [/p][p]We will ride 2,700 miles off-road on mountain bikes, following the course of the Great Divide in North America, using a variety of dirt roads, trails and unmaintained tracks. It is an unsupported event. No one follows you. You carry all your gear, food, and water yourselves, see photos below for loaded up bikes. Resupply points for food and water can be 40 miles apart, they can be 150 miles apart. [/p][p]We are individual cyclists, we are not allowed to help each other, from punctures through to carrying our own kit. The only exception might be helping to fight off the bears along the way![/p][p]We have a spot tracker that will show the world where we are, and can be used for an emergency rescue. A good quality finish time is considered to be 30 days. We have set ourselves an ambitious target of 24 days. [/p][p]If we are on schedule, Brian will turn 50 years of age somewhere in Montana, about 1,000 miles into the event - probably time for a mid-strength beer at that stage! [/p][p]The Tour Divide Challenge will be both physically and mentally challenging for us both. One month will be a very long time away from our children, but they both love the idea of being mummy and daddy’s ‘support team’ now.[/p][p][b]What do we expect? [/b][/p][p]16+ hour days in the saddle, averaging over 120 miles per day. Rain, wind, cold, extreme heat, hunger and thirst. Sleeping out in the wilderness, sharing the ground with animals. But, we will also have fantastic views, solitude, quietness. Probably a bit of tiredness and the odd saddle-sore.[/p][p]Although we have been privileged to be able to do many things in our lives, I can honestly say that this will be a once in a lifetime journey. [/p][p]To get a taster of the Tour Divide - please see the official trailer below:[/p][p][vmgvideo width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xqCYE-Smqf4?showinfo=0&rel=0&iv_load_policy=3" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""][/vmgvideo][/p][p][b]Why are we doing this?[/b][/p][p]Martine, as the co-founder and CEO of Kids Run Free, I really wanted to lead by example to all the thousands of children who run with us at our Parks and Schools Programmes.[/p][p]My passion was ignited for sport and physical activity when I was at primary school, so I want to keep encouraging all children to stay active and become healthier, happier, and more confident.[/p][p]With tighter funding streams, our charity Kids Run Free will need more resources to sustain us. Please set up a regular or a one-off donation to support us. Your help will be very gratefully received.[/p][p]This is a self funded challenge from Brian and I, so 100% of your donation will go to Kids Run Free[/p][p]Feel free to share with your friends and family to help spread the word about our cause.[/p]
Martine and Brian image 1
Martine and Brian image 2
Martine and Brian image 3
Martine and Brian image 4
Martine and Brian image 5

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Personal Challenge Date

08 Jun 2018


Jul 26, 2018



plus £21.25 Gift Aid

Jul 24, 2018

Kostas K

Good luck


plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2018


Well done, so proud of you both. xx, Mum Dad


Jul 12, 2018

David Moorcroft

Fantastic effort Martine and Brian - well done!


plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 11, 2018


Well done!


plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 9, 2018

Tante Jos en Ome Koos

Wat zijn wij trots op jullie! Dikke knuffels


Jul 9, 2018

Miranda en Fred van Heukelom

Amazing achievement!!!! We're so proud of you 2! Lots of Love


Jul 6, 2018

Jo F

Well done on an amazing achievement both - inspirational!


plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 6, 2018

Mitchell-Siebert Family

An incredible ride for a very worthy cause. This event is on 'my list'....I'd love to hear more about your great adventure! Best regards, Eric Siebert


Jul 5, 2018


A wonderful cause.


Martine Verweij

Martine Verweij

Brian Tear

Brian Tear

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